Importance of Fire Protection

11 January 2019
Importance of Fire Protection

Who needs a fire alarm?

Quite simply, the vast majority of commercial premises and buildings of multiple occupancy, such as a block of flats, houses, offices etc, should all have a good fire alarm system. Most fire alarms are designed for two different purposes- protection of life and protection of property. The three types of fire alarm systems are conventional, addressable and wireless. A conventional fire alarm divides premises into broad zones, and in the event of an alert will identify areas, but not precisely. It is most suitable for smaller, lower risk environments. An addressable fire alarm is better for larger or higher risk environments such as schools, hospitals etc, as it tells you precisely where the problem is, and each device has its own unique electronic location. The wireless fire alarms use a secure link between sensors and the alarm panel, which typically works like an addressable system but without wires. These wireless alarms are mostly used in historic buildings or churches, as electrical power may be in short supply. UK fire alarm legislation doesn’t specify exactly what type of fire alarm system should be used in which type of building, but it is dependent on which type of alarm is best suited to your particular premises, especially to cover the regulatory insurance specifications.

Fire alarm detector on the wall

Why is having a fire alarm important?

In 2016/17, there were over 300 fire-related fatalities in the UK, with the most common cause of house fires coming from the kitchen. It is quite simple; fire alarm systems save lives. The number one reason for installing a fire alarm is to make the building safe for all in it, whether it be employees, customers, clients, tenants etc. The alarms are designed to alert occupants and the services, giving time to evacuate in an orderly fashion, and act upon the incident safely. They also shorten recovery time, cutting any losses a building may have from the fire, aiming to help normality return without too much time passing. These systems will also help with PR problems, help people feel safer, and follow code and laws.

Des pompiers et un feu de cuisinière. Les pompiers en premier plan.

What other fire safety services are available?

To give you peace of mind, there are a wide range of services available, all maintained to current British Standard and designed to help with your safety and understanding of fires. Fire safety signs are useful for quickly and easily knowing where key points of interest are and displaying warnings. The most common safety signs used are ‘fire alarm’, ‘fire extinguisher’ and ‘fire exit’, common in halls, hospitals, schools and other buildings. Emergency lighting provides lit escape routes to ensure the safety of staff and customers in the event of a loss of power. The lighting lasts for at least 3 hours following main power loss, allowing the building to be evacuated. Fire extinguishers are designed for controlling small fires, often in emergency situations. They are designed to be user friendly, identifiable, and easy to operate. There are many types available, including water extinguishers, spray foam extinguishers, CO2 extinguishers

A set of different fire extinguisher instruction signs on a wall

What are the main tips for using a fire extinguisher?

Fires grow rapidly and spread fast. It is important to have basic knowledge on how to use fire extinguishers to help manage small fires and contain it, until the area is safe or available to evacuate. The acronym PASS is a simple way to remember the basic tips for operating a fire extinguisher. Pull the pin. Aim low. Squeeze slowly and consistently. Sweep from side to side. It is important to consider whether you have a clear escape route, and that you are safe from the fire’s toxic smoke, otherwise you may not help the situation by using one. In regard to fire extinguisher maintenance, it is important to make sure it is clean, and that any dust, oil, or grease that may be on the outside of the extinguisher has been removed. It is recommended to check pressure levels every few years to ensure it is at the correct level, and some extinguishers need to be shaken monthly, so reading their guidelines and instructions is important. Remember to check that all the extinguishers are within easy access in an emergency, and that nothing is blocking or limiting your ability to reach it. Fire extinguishers are a very useful piece of equipment that can make a lot of difference when used correctly and safely.

white hand presses the trigger fire extinguisher

What types of training do you offer?

There are different training types we can offer, each with different components and areas of focus. The fire warden course lasts approximately 3 hours and includes a fire awareness presentation, followed by live fire demonstrations outside consisting of 4 fire scenarios. Finally, there is a presentation covering the roles and responsibilities of a warden, and a discussion of the evacuation procedure and high-risk areas. The 2-hour basic fire awareness course includes a basic fire awareness presentation, followed by 4 outside fire demonstrations. We can also carry out live fire training only, which would last approximately an hour, and would include the demonstrations with explanations. We can train up to 20 people on each course, with everyone that attends receiving a certificate. If you wish to carry out more than one course in one day, for example the warden course and basic awareness course, we can wjaccommodate to design a suitable course. All demonstrations require an area of approximately 20 square feet for set up and equipment use. For more details, get in touch!

Mid section of applauding audience at business seminar

What Fire Safety packages do you offer?

There are three different fire safety packages available, designed to allow you to choose the level of cover you require for your premises. We can attend sites, and carry out risk assessments or create a survey, to look after the needs for you. We can take the pressure out of fire safety, by supporting you with our different package options. The bronze package includes the fire extinguisher services, fire alarm maintenance and a 3-hour emergency light test. The silver package offers an additional fire risk assessment. The gold package offers all the above, plus staff fire training, a fire signage survey and a document management system. We can also tailor a specific service especially for your company, all from just one site visit.

Woman is holding business documents in the office, close up, selective focus

Why makes WJ Fire the best choice for Fire Protection?

The safety of your staff and customers is our top priority. We have worked with numerous types of businesses including schools, sports clubs, car dealerships and marinas to design a bespoke fire safety package specifically to their requirements. WJ Fire will make sure your business will comply with all current fire safety packages, and each of our services aim to give customers complete peace of mind. With over 20 years of experience, we can tailor a fire safety package specifically for you with just one site visit. Whether it be fire risk assessments, staff training, fire sign installations, emergency lighting fitting, fire alarm placement or fire extinguishers maintenance and installation, we can help with the responsibility of your fire safety. To find out more, or to arrange a meeting, call us on 01420 476071.

Human hand holding pen and checklist, selective focus